Perspective

Throughout our society, perspective is the one thing that can divide and unite us as people. It is interesting however, that we as people choose to let our different perspectives divide us rather than unite. Throughout this exhibit I will pair text ranging from multiple centuries with a visual representation of the perspective it offers.

In Plato's Republic Thrasymachus states "I proclaim that justice is nothing more than the interest of the stronger". Socrates makes the argument that justice cannot be served under the ideas of good and evil. This is because good and evil are subjective. What is evil to one man may not be the same to another.r". I feel that this painting illustrates not only that both of these statements but also their aftermath. The wounded man is surrounded by those who care about him, while the man who presumably caused the injury is similarly surrounded by his friends. It could be inferred that the "good" man walking away has served justice to the "evil" man on the ground by wounding him. But as we see good and evil are not as clearly defined as we think. The man on the ground has people around him who care and are concerned for his well being, so in their eyes he was the good man who was wounded by evil.
In Plato's alagory of "The Cave" he sets forward the idea of men in their untouched state. These men are bound in a cave and only allowed to face the walls, on which they see shadowy figures. The question is posed “How could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?” (Plato). They eventually deduce that these figures are living beings. Next, the men are freed from their bonds and allowed to look around the cave. This is when they realize that the source of the shadows are coming from the light reflecting off of the fire in the center of the cave. Thus the men are given their first bit of truth, the shadowy figures aren't real, they are made by the fire. This photo reads to me as the closest we could come today to the cave analogy. Today we live bound to our electronic devices. They are our source of almost all of the information that we receive. The TV represents the fire, while the men that are watching it represent the untouched men in the cave that were drawn to the truths that the fire had to offer.
“Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eyes are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light” ― Plato, The Allegory of the Cave This piece made me think of the dangers of "The Cave" analogy. Here we have a man giving a lewd gesture towards a building in Berne. I had never heard of Berne before this, so I ended up looking the place up on the internet. I found out that it was nothing more than a historic old town in Germany. If one were to deduce information about this place from the context clues of this photo, he/she would believe that Berne is a vile place with a history worthy of this photographers use of this offensive gesture. Here we see how one mans artistic perspective can be taken out of context and perceived as fact. This is the danger of man trusting everything that is presented to him. He must take into consideration the perspective of the person presenting him with the information.
“The first sentiment of man was that of his existence, his first care that of preserving it.” - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. In "Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men", philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau discusses the advantages that the Naturalized, or rather "savage", man posses over his civilized counterpart. This painting very nicely illustrates one of those advantages. The savage man does not know what to fear, he judges his fear base on what he can and cannot conquer. The man in this painting has never taken on these beast before so he attempts to fend them off. The civilized man would probably decide to try to run, knowing that he cannot possibly beat these animals. The painting however shows the savage man with the upper hand, he is actually scaring away the animals. Thus, we can argue that in this circumstance the civilized man would be the weaker of the two, even though such a savage lifestyle is almost unanimously looked down upon in our society today.
“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.” (Marx, Communist Manifesto) I believe that this picture perfectly captures the heart of the communist aim. In the photo there are two hands holding up what seems to be a child. Surrounding the arms are images of war and prayer. The whole purpose of communism was to elevate the proletariat above the injustices of the bourgeoisie. This depiction also gives a softer side to what we americans view as communism. The child is blindfolded, as to imply innocence. This is very much how Marx explains communism. It is a device used to help the innocent. We Americans view it as a tool to destroy democracy and out American tradition.
"Women are, in fact, so much degraded by mistaken notions of female excellence, that I do not mean to add a paradox when I assert, that this artificial weakness produces a propensity to tyrannize, and gives birth to cunning, the natural opponent of strength, which leads them to play off those contemptible infantile airs that undermine esteem even whilst they excite desire. Do not foster these prejudices, and they will naturally fall into their subordinate, yet respectable station in life." This is how Wollstoncraft chooses to introduce the idea of female inequality. She later goes on to discuss how men have created what women decided to be a standard of being. Men created this standard based on their perception of beauty. Those who were beautiful met the standard, those who were not beautiful were socially ignored. This photo is titled "Sex" and it depicts a figure of a woman hanging like and object nude and waiting to be used. This shows what men have reduced women to in terms of value. They are objects to be valued based on their physical appearance.
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